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Myojo USA: Packing the right flavor for the market

Jun 08, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

Starting as a maker of dry noodles in 1950, Myojo Foods found much success after it began selling instant ramen, particularly its world-famous Charumera line. Having grown steadily in Japan for decades, Myojo Foods and JFC International (a subsidiary of Kikkoman Corp.) formed a partnership in 1991 to distribute popular Japanese food products across the United States.

Myojo USA offers bowlfuls of authentic Japanese flavors with these two of several varieties.

Headquartered in Chino, California, Myojo USA started with udon before eventually adding ramen and yakisoba, as well as gyoza and wonton wrappers to its offerings. Unlike its parent company in Japan, which sells dry instant noodle products, Myojo USA’s products are made fresh, then packaged frozen before they are delivered to customers across North America.

Myojo USA caters to two customer bases: food service and retail. Its food service products are fresh noodles packaged in bulk and sold to a variety of restaurants and ramen shops. Its retail products, meanwhile, include ramen, udon and yakisoba, as well as gyoza and wonton wrappers, with its most popular being the Goku Uma Premium Ramen.

After nearly 30 years in the noodle business, Myojo USA is embarking on a rebranding process that will involve their first retail packaging redesign. It also launched a website with more information about its products and set up social media platforms, like Instagram, among others. Through social media, Myojo hopes to spread its love for Japanese noodles and share its knowledge of lesser known dishes, such as hiyashi chuka, a summer-time cold noodle.

With over 100 different types of noodles in its product catalog, Myojo USA has a noodle for every type of dish, like the tsukemen and mazemen, which are gaining popularity in the United States. It has also developed unique and colorful vegan noodles that bring a fresh twist to traditional Japanese dishes.

Through hard work and passion for noodles, Myojo USA is confident it will soon become a household name in North America.

Fuji Natural Foods: Safety is top-of-mind

Jun 08, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

For more than 40 years, Fuji Natural Foods has actively advocated for higher food quality and safety standards in the United States. Beginning its operations in 1979 as a sprout grower in California, Fuji has developed a food safety plan that has played an important role in the company’s success. 

Fuji Natural Foods President Katsushiro Nakagawa

Determined to provide customers with the highest quality and safest sprouts possible, Fuji carried out a risk analysis and determined which sprouts it would continue growing. Also, an unflinching commitment to its community and customers has paid off. Today, Fuji Natural Foods is the country’s largest sprout producer and a highly valued member of Ontario, California.

Aside from meeting U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards, Fuji Natural Foods also uses technology from Japan to pasteurize seeds before sprouting and reduce chemical usage.

“We produce a variety of sprouts – mung bean, soy bean, pea and radish – all staples of healthy, timeless cuisines. We supply many different customers in California and Arizona, from local produce markets, wholesalers, restaurants and grocery stores,” Fuji Natural Foods President Katsushiro Nakagawa said.

“It is essential that we create products of great quality while adhering to the industry safety standards upheld in Japan. For example, our products pass our strict shelf-life tests. Before our sprouts leave the facility, we run a series of tests to confirm if they’re safe to eat and frequently undergo third-party food safety audits, as well as constant training,” Nakagawa added. 

Ajinomoto Foods: Preserving healthy eating in the Americas

Jun 08, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

A melting pot of cultures, the United States has a complex food and beverage industry and a diverse culinary landscape, reflecting the country’s very long history of immigration and welcoming attitude toward other traditions.

Ajinomoto Foods North America President and CEO Sumio Maeda President

Although the Ajinomoto Group has built its global reputation on its popular seasonings and sauces, Ajinomoto Foods North America has been among the leading frozen foods manufacturer in the region. Present for more than 100 years in the United States, it continues to play a significant role in preserving the taste of ethnic and specialty dishes without compromising the health benefits of its products.

“Ajinomoto Foods has always been a big proponent of healthy eating. By prioritizing continuous innovation and manufacturing excellence, our company has been able to provide the market with great products across the largest categories of ethnic and specialty dishes. Mainstream customers and consumers have started to realize the value of ethnic and high-quality frozen foods. We are successful because of our excellence and we take a pride in the quality of our products,” Ajinomoto Foods North America President and CEO Sumio Maeda President said.

“Through our recent rebranding, we hope that our customers will note our desire to set ourselves apart from the rest as the leading frozen food company in North America through our commitment to the quality of our products and services and ultimately to our customers, consumers and environment. In light of the current situation, we wish that all of you are staying safe,” Maeda added.

AKT Trading: Growing Asian food culture in the U.S.

Jun 08, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

Many small- and medium-size food and beverage companies, particularly in Japan, have taken notice of a promising opportunity in the growing market for Asian food around the world, including in the United States, where the population of Asians continues to increase.

AKT Trading Inc. President Akikazu Kimura

Based in Torrance in Los Angeles County, AKT Trading Inc. has introduced many products that satisfy Americans’ craving for Japanese food across the country.

“This has always been my dream: to further serve as a bridge between the two cultures,” said AKT Trading Inc. President Akikazu Kimura, who aims to become a behind-the-scenes ambassador for Japanese food in the United States.

Starting out as a wholesaler and importer to Japanese grocery chains in the United States, AKT now also distributes assorted imported USDA Organic Asian food products through mainstream grocery chains across the United States and sells various non-food products via the online retail giant

Kimura stressed that AKT Trading’s partnership with logistics company Nippon Express, via its Cross-border EC Express Service, allowed his business to establish a reputation as a reliable importer and supplier of more than 100 non-food products via Japan Global Network, its store on only in the U.S.

Looking toward the future, AKT Trading hopes to play a prominent and active role in promoting nutritional food and healthy eating habits.

“We need more education on how Japanese food is beneficial to one’s health, especially in the U.S. market,” said Kimura, who wants to expand his distribution market from just over 100 outlets to 1,000 outlets in the next few years and help other Japanese entrepreneurs wanting to enter the American market.

“A lot of Japanese companies are conservative. But to succeed here, you need to be more aggressive and AKT Trading can serve as the gateway and platform to do so,” he added.

Los Angeles 2020 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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